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Cane Toads - Bufo Marinus
Don¶t we just love them?
Cane toads were introduced into Australia during the 1930¶s. These frogs are able feed on cane beetles therefore
it was supposed to solve the issue of sugar canes being destroyed by cane beetles. This experiment has been a
disaster. The population of these amphibians are growing rapidly and expanding up to 50km a year. Cane Toads
have an effect to the native predators such as quolls, large snakes and goannas. When the animals feed on
these frogs they die because they are unable to handle their highly toxic skin.

Supporting Data

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Figure 1

ihows that current and projected range of invasive cane toads in Australia. (V[ Cane toads now inhabit
approximately 1.2 million km2 of Australia ( in dark grey[. ( [ The predicted distribution of cane toads (in black[
based on many different equations and concepts. Our model suggests that, unless interrupted, cane toads
eventually will occupy over 2 million km2 of Australia. oreover, cane toads are predicted to colonize 76% of
the Australian coastline

iuitable habitat for cane toad to live in is predicted in regions with minimum annual temperatures of less than
5.0°C (e.g. parts of southeastern Australia[ and in regions with maximum annual temperatures of greater than
37.0°C (e.g. parts of the Northern Territory[. However minimum annual temperature of Cane Toads showed no
significant change over the same period. But even then, Cane Toads have lived in places which we once thought
they were unable to.

ieveral observations suggest that the cane toad's niche has expanded in Australia. (i[ Range expansions have
been restricted to specific geographical regions (mostly northern expansion front[ rather than to broad regions
with similar bioclimatic conditions. (ii[ Australian toad range boundaries now lie outside those predicted by their
native range. (iii[ Toad range expansions have accelerated rather than decelerated with time.
Cane toads appear to be most successful in open habitats associated with human disturbances, such as
roadsides and suburban developments
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Supporting Data

Figure 2
ihows the projected range area that the Cane toads will take over and the maximum temperatures for cane toad
to survive in. Range models were produced for toad occurrences collected prior to 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2005.
(V[ After a period of time, the model predicted a substantial expansion of projected cane toad suitable habitat
area from 1995 to 2005. ( [ Over time, cane toads increasingly have colonized to warmer regions of Australia,
meaning they can take on hotter environments and can survive in more places in Australia (another form of
adaption[

We need help now more than ever, the Cane Toads have adapted from their Ancestor's origin. They are
becoming faster(more movement each day[, more adaptive to extreme temperatures, numbers just keep growing
which lead to more recombination and mutations. If we don¶t start now, Cane Toads might prove to be impossible
to stop
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cccccccccccccc Methodology c

Control over the number of Cane Toads was always a


hard challenge that everyone tried to do, but even our
most successful ideas have almost always backfired or
been more harmful than we thought. For example,
pounding small fence posts into the ground where
Cane Toads are most likely to mate and lay eggs.
Unfortunately, the fencing prevents other animals from
drinking from the pond. Therefore, though a good idea,
it was not an option.
But we might have some hope«
icientists are currently researching into gene modification technology which is creating a generation of cane
toads that only give birth to male toads and to develop a strain of µdaughterless cane toads¶. Which are toads that
can only give birth to sons. ³This would be a non-toxic and humane way of bringing about a population decline,
and has no impact on any other species or environment.´ iaid by Professor Koopman from the university of
Queensland institute for molecular bioscience. ³All of the offspring of this genetically engineered toad would thus
be male, and they would all be carrying the daughterless gene.´ As the new generation
will contain more and more males who cannot produce female toads, the
number of females is reduced and will therefore reduce the number of cane
toads in the next generation.

We are planning (and proposing[ to use the money that we can gain from
the Champions of the Earth to further develop the gene modification of the
daughterless gene project. This project will help to decrease the number of
Cane Toads that haunt the coastal area of Australia as well as the area
around Queen¶s Land.
We will be funding researchers and scientists on perfecting the ³Daughterless Gene´ so that we can finally come
out with a solution that would get rid of all the invasive Cane Toads.
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ëmpacts

Economic ± The affect cane toads have on native or local people are the killing of farm animals such
as dogs, 50 dogs are killed annually from trying to eat a cane toad. They eat a large number of honey
bees which creates a management problem for bee keepers therefore getting rid of cane toads have
a positive impact on the economy. Also dead cane toads can be used to produce leather bags, using
their fore body and abdomen. Taking away cane toads would reduce the merchandise therefore
affecting the economy.

Cultural ± Cane toads have become a cultural delicacy. They are


cooked by first skinning them and removing the poisonous glands,
then roasting them.

Ethical ± Biologists have argued against gene modification as they


believe it is crossing species boundaries, unnatural, immoral and is
against god¶s laws. Fear of creating a new disease for which there
is no treatment and risks of harming the environment. Also, since it
is a relatively new technology, biologists are asking, ³Will there be a
long term effect on which we don¶t know?´ c
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Rutcomes
Our goal for this project is to completely eradicate the cane toad population in
Australia. Our chosen solution to solve this issue would be the, ³daughterless gene.´
After scientists have genetically engineered cane toads which carry the
daughterless gene, they would then be able to release them in the wild. The
amount of cane toads released would differ for specific areas depending on the
population density. We will monitor our project by recording the cane toad
population over time. We will be able to do this by using the Hybrid iensor Network.
These machines will be placed in specific areas where cane toads exist, and they
will record the types of frogs present in that area by recognizing toad
vocalizations. After it has given us hard data of the population over a night, we are
able to predict the percentage and total amount of cane toads within that region. If there is a decrease in our data
and there are no unexpected casualties (additional negative impacts to biodiversity[, we can say that we are
successful. However this solution is for long-term use as this process exterminates the whole cane toad species
without having to kill a single cane toad. Each new generation of toads will contain more and more males
who will not be able produce female offspring, therefore the
number of females in the population declines
which would then lead to the number of toads to
diminish in the next generation. We will be the
first to conduct this project; therefore we do not
know the exact time it would take to eradicate the
species, however an approximation would be 75
years.